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What have we done?


PUBLIC is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpolitical, citizen action group founded in 1990.

Our mission has been to improve the environment of Calcutta and promote sustainable urban living by working with government agencies, media, students, corporate citizens, other NGOs and stakeholders in an advocacy, consultative and implementation capacity.

Our focus areas are land use planning, including protection of wetlands and open spaces and green cover, air and noise pollution and conservation of heritage buildings.

Our methods are advocacy, media communication, public interest litigation and direct action.

Over the two decades-plus of its existence, PUBLIC has become an important voice on environmental issues in Calcutta. The recently established (in December 2006) East Kolkata Wetlands Management & Conservation Authority, headed by the Chief Secretary, has included PUBLIC as one of three NGOs and as a member of the Standing Committee on Biodiversity.

Other achievements are: legal protection of the east Calcutta wetlands and water bodies, restrictions on noise pollution in the city, protection of heritage buildings including removal of hoardings from heritage areas, and increased citizen action on city issues, particularly by school nature clubs supported by us. Many still remember the March for Power and the March for Clean Air PUBLIC organized.

Our membership is small but our commitment to action is high. We believe strongly in working as a team that is flexible, cohesive and effective. We draw strength from a large number of associates and supporters, including other NGOs with whom we network.

For inspiration we rely on Margaret Mead:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed…it's the only thing that ever does."

Pages from PUBLIC Diary

2017: Demolish, Remove, Restore – National Green Tribunal comes to the rescue

2013: Saving the trees on Camac Street…and elsewhere, perhaps

1998: New Market


Protecting Calcutta's wetlands

The east Calcutta wetlands, a vast expanse on the... Read more

Greening the city

Organized tree planting has been among PUBLIC's... Read more

Fighting automobile pollution

PUBLIC approaches the problem by addressing the extreme... Read more

Advocating silence zones

PUBLIC has been working to have the neighbourhoods around... Read more

Promoting "Active Citizenship"

PUBLIC believes firmly in citizen action. Our systems for... Read more